A morning conversation

I was taking photos of leaves on paving slabs when the man spoke to me. I explained that I use these random fallings in the composition of my paintings. This opened up a brief conversation in which I learnt:

He lays paving slabs for his living. He likes the natural ones like the ones we were standing on better than the manufactured slabs that are gradually taking over our streets. He  notices the things that he finds when he lifts slabs – spiders, webs, insects, leaves. He paints too. He paints horses. He loves horses and to gamble on the races. He paints by tracing pictures of the horses.He started painting when he was in prison. His teacher in prison was a very good marine artist. He still can recall the details of a painting by this artist of Vancouver from the sea and how it was so well painted that even the leaves of the trees on the shore were visible in the picture.

I re-learnt: the complexity of a person’s life and the pleasure of being trusted to share even a few minutes of it.

When we reveal something of our complex selves, we allow empathy to happen.

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